Fast-moving thunderstorms washed over area roadways, rocked the evening commute and sent lightning strikes across central North Carolina Wednesday.
Heavy rain, some hail and frequent lightning accompanied a band of storms across the state as afternoon turned to evening.
"We anticipated an increase in coverage of shower and storm activity today and that's exactly what we got this afternoon," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze.
Rain fell hard enough to tangle traffic in north Raleigh and lightning struck a Texas Roadhouse restaurant at Capital Boulevard and Falls of Neuse Road.
In downtown Fayetteville, flooding was reported near Festival Park, and police were called to pull cars from high water in the area of Ramsey and Drake streets.
The Aberdeen Times reported a commercial building and a house were struck by lightning. No injuries were reported in either location.
Strong but not severe thunderstorms were reported in other parts of the Triangle. Pea-sized hail and wind gusts of up to 45 mph were associated with a storm that moved through Harnett and Johnston counties during the 5 o'clock hour.
The storms diminished with the setting sun, but not before rainbows blanketed the skies from north to south.
Look for a repeat performance Thursday when the forecast is much the same. Weather will warm through the afternoon, pushing 90 degrees before an upper level area of low pressure drops down from the north.